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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-L107-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 19, 2024, from

Article Summary

Most people writing on trust accept the following claims: trust involves risk; trusters do not constantly monitor those they trust; trust enhances the effectiveness of agency; and trust and distrust are self-confirming. Three further claims are widely accepted: trust and distrust are contraries but not contradictories; trust cannot be willed; and trust has noninstrumental value. Accounts of trust divide into three families: risk-assessment accounts, which are indifferent to the reasons why one trusts; will-based accounts, which stress the importance of the motives of those who are trusted; and affective attitude accounts, which claim that trust is a feeling as well as a judgment and a disposition to act. One of the central questions concerns when trust is justified, and, in particular, whether justified trusting can outstrip evidence for the belief that the person trusted is trustworthy. If trust can leap ahead of evidence of trustworthiness, then trust poses a problem for evidentialism, or the view that one should never believe anything without sufficient evidence. Further central questions include whether trusting is a virtue and trustworthiness morally required, while a final set of questions concerns the role of trust in politics and the connection between interpersonal trust and trust in institutions.

Citing this article:
Jones, Karen. Trust, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-L107-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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